Having said that, there are some redeeming features. You have lived long enough to see your kids become parents and cope with the sleepless nights and the unrelenting constancy that is parenthood. You have travelled a lot and been fortunate to surf many waves in many lands. Maybe your kids have taken up surfing and you have enjoyed the privilege of sharing ocean time with them. At some stage along the way to a ripe old age, the ardent surfer will want to take the family on a holiday that will provide surf options.
Obviously, the age and interests of your kids (and/or grandkids) will heavily dictate the sort of features you will seek in a surf destination. But as general comments, here are the sort of matters that need to be considered (and probably roughly in this order) -
Location: the closer to home, the better is a good start. There seems to be a universal law that the smaller and younger you are, the more stuff you need to have with you when away from home. Which doesn’t leave much room for taking multiple surf craft on the trip. Traveling with really little kids can be relatively easy, despite how much junk you need to take for them. Keeping the 4-10 year old age bracket amused on a long flight with connections can require significant planning. But if you are going a long distance, it makes sense to go somewhere truly exotic, like the Maldives. Makes the effort of getting there all the more worthwhile. Check out Hudhuranfushi Resort in the North Male Atolls.
Accommodation suitability: the size, layout, comfort, privacy and convenience of your accommodation will have a major impact on holiday enjoyment. Then you need to add in noise considerations, such as generators, bars, discos and maybe associated party animals.
Food: while some families need to cater to special dietary requirements, which can be tricky at times, most of us do like to know that the food at our resort will be wholesome, plentiful, tasty and varied. The availability (or otherwise) of suitable and/or well-loved beverages is also more important to some than others. A man (or a woman for that matter) is not a camel, after all…..
Non-surfing activities: (be it for your partner and/or the kids): it’s not a lot of fun returning to the accommodation (even after a wonderful surf) to find that the rest of the family have been bored to back teeth with nothing to do and are about to rip your limbs off and/or tear the place to shreds. Such a situation will undoubtedly cut into your surf time. Resorts like the DoubleTrees Hilton in Fiji have kids clubs and Cloudbreak is just a 20minute boat ride away.
Safety: it is a material parental responsibility from which there is no escape. So the distance to local medical staff/centres/hospitals, emergency transportation, resort first aid facilities and the like needs consideration.
Cost: for better or for worse, it isn’t just you anymore….
Wave quality: who would have thought that this aspect would be so far down the list?
While the above matters do not comprise an exhaustive list, it’s a good starting point. As you work through the various items, keep an open mind and try to think outside the square where possible. For example, your first thought about a boat trip might be that it is unsuitable. However, for an extended family with grandparents and parents who all surf, a sole use group with private use of your very own boat for a week or two is an excellent getaway for everyone. Built-in multiple babysitters for the very young and no outsiders to crash the party.
If floating around the ocean isn’t your thing, there’s ample opportunity on land with perfect private holiday homes to entice the family or several families under the one roof. Vatu Vonu Fijian Villas located on Malalo Island in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji, is a perfect set up for this type of family surf trip. World Class waves a 5-10 minute boat trip away, private luxury household facilities including kitchen, swimming pool, private beach, caretaker and surf guide.
Or maybe you hit a wavepool in an urban area, like UrbnSurf in Melbourne. Surf your brains out during your allotted time, then going shopping, the Science Centre, the Zoo and/or the theatre afterwards.
Whatever destination you end up choosing, attack it with gusto and enjoy every minute of your time there with the family. They grow up way too quickly….
You didn’t think we would finish this article off without our top family surf trips did you? That’s why you came here and we certainly don’t want to let you down.
World Surfaris Top 9 Family Surf Trips:
1. Hudhuranfushi Resort, MALDIVES
2. VatuVonu Fijian Villas, FIJI
3. Nusa Island Retreat, PNG
4. Savaii Surfaris, SAMOA
5. Maavahi Charters, MALDIVES
6. Niyama Surf Resort, MALDIVES
7. Komune Resort, BALI
8. Johns Place, MENTAWAIS
9. Lakey Peak Haven, INDONESIA